March 30, 2011

white lies

i've shared several times that ben is quite the Buzz Lightyear fan.

as such, he has taken to running around and yelling, "i come in peace!"

as his mom, i feel that i must clarify.
frequency of use does not necessarily lead to the accuracy of the statement.

March 26, 2011

not THAT mario...

hooray for seeing old friends. 
today bern and i had the chance to enjoy a fun lunch at Betty's with an old Hall Director friend of mine, Mario. 
and meet Michael, who is a gem.
and yes, Doug, you are lovely, too. 

but i get to see you on a semi-regular basis.  

during our lunch, Mario, Michael and Doug told us of their bizarre adventures yesterday while in the process of trying to buy a Paul Robinett candle. 
this story reminded me of a trip that Mario and I chaperoned to NYC while he was the Hall Director for Baker West. 
A trip that included a frightening hotel with doors that didn't really shut and definitely didn't lock...
and long stretches of no hot water... 

...and this quality photo taken in Central Park.
(where, clearly, we were on different pages.) 

and the trip included the antics of these gems...eric, brandon and crystal...on the subway. 

and mike and dan. 
all lovely folks of Baker West. 

mario and i have always shared a similar palate. 
and a love of a ridiculous hobby that resulted in this photo. 

anth was still a little nugget when i went on this trip. 
here he is, rocking his "baker west: where everybody loves everybody" t-shirt. 

when we got home from lunch, anth asked who we were with while we were gone. 
bern told him "mario." 
anth's face lit up and bern asked him if he remembered mario. 
(which would be surprising since he was just over 18-months-old when he moved away.)

the excitement on his face quickly washed away when he realized that bern and i had not just been dining with a life-sized version of Luigi's counterpart from his current favorite video game.
it was clear from his crestfallen face that we had just instantly gone from in-with-the-celebrities to his usual boring parents. 
sorry (real) Mario. 
true story. 

March 25, 2011

fail photo 25. . . b-day behind the scenes

i've received several kind compliment regarding the photos taken on benny's birthday.
due to a personal penchant for transparency, i felt compelled to share these ones as well.
this is the other half of what the day looked like. 

savarese b-day: the real world edition.

we asked benny to stand behind mom for a cheesy mockery of family photos. 
apparently, we did not indicate clearly that we wanted him to stand upright.
a few more inches and the little man would have leaned right out of the photo.
or just fell over.

when he eventually decided to stand up, benny experienced an overwhelming urge to attack. 
here is the deep breath going in...

and here is the full-fledged "raspberry" being applied to mom's face.

delicately declaring his love of birthday cake.
he is a man of subtlety.

i asked for silly.
i got this.
which i would categorize as something closer to frightening.
perhaps, even, disturbing.

i didn't ask anth for "silly" here.
in fact, i asked for nothing.
this was about to be a really cute picture of my little nuggets.
and then benny pinched his older brother on the back.
this is anth's very genuine reaction to sudden, unexpected, pain.
and benjamin smiling sweetly through it all.
which, i have to say, is exactly what happens when people stop being polite...and start being real. 

March 23, 2011

sometimes, there's not enough caffiene

this is often the case for me.
it was expecially so on monday.
when my mom, dad and i raided my kitchen/pantry area.
multiple times.
looking for my baking soda.

which i swore that i, of course, had.
because who doesn't have baking soda?

oh, that's right.

remember this?

thankfully, my mom eventually remembered this old blog post.
becuase i didn't.
even though i wrote it.
and filmed it.
and it was technically a three part post.

and, yes, i am calling myself out.
i clearly have not had baking soda in my house for three months.
i am no martha stewart, but i actually do love to bake.
clearly, i have had a few things on the plate this quarter.

those of you who know my mother will not be surprised to find out that she has since gone to Kroger, bought baking soda, and made peanut butter cookies while i was at work today.
all is right in the world again.
thanks, mom.

March 21, 2011

grad-dads and granddads

while i continue my committment to being a lazy poster while my parents are in town, i thought that a few quick photos of bern's big day were in order!

it all started here.
with this tree.
and me and my dad on our back porch.
testing out the zoom lens for my camera.
...we were curious how far it would actually zoom.

once again, i play the part of awkward neighbor as i aim my zoom lens into someone else's backyard.
a sea of silly hats.
and one, amidst the yellows, that i couldn't help but love.
it said "it's a girl!"
dear whoever you are, congrats!

bernie standing up to have his degree conferred by President Gee!
(you can actually see him about three folks in from the ramp, looking slighlty to his right in front of the folks with the yellow hoods.)

bern making his way down the ramp with degree in hand!

aside from looking up to see dad at the appropriate times, the gravity of the event was somewhat lost on our favorite kindergartener.
but, he was super excited to have 6 times his usual allotment of Nintendo DS time.

bern came to find us up in our seating area after the ceremony!

here are my folks with bern!

and 4 generations of savvy men back at our house after the ceremony to celebrate!
with a side of Wish Bear.

benny intently discusses something relating to the number four with uncle frank's fiancee, nicole.

and, after the party, my pops helped grab a photo of bern and i in the backyard.
this time there are people in front of the camera, pointing in the same direction as the morning's creep-zoom-photo

and, of course, anth's journal o' the day.
with a lovely depiction of bern's gown.
which, apparently, was mainly sleeves.

congrats again to our savvy daddy!

(he might have my hide for mentioning this, but bern was honored with the Weidler Scholars award for academic achievement in his program by the Fisher School of Business!
smart boys are sexy!)

March 15, 2011

that kid's a hoot

this weekend is going to be a busy one. 
various parts of both of our families will be in town for a succession of celebrations. 
friday night is bern's more intimate, sit-down dinner, graduation ceremony that is put on by the Fisher College of Business in OSU's Faculty Club. 
Saturday some of the fam will be coming over to hang out and do a fun lunch/cake party just to socialize and give some attention to the fact that it was just benny's birthday. 
(and, hopefully, i will get to spend some quality time with Natalie Hosfeld and Liz George from my early years in Baker West!)
and then we will round it out with the good old fashioned pomp and circumstance by taking anth to see daddy walk at OSU's Winter Commencement, followed by more family fun back at the savvy residence. 

and then i have some fun "staycation" time coming up.
so, the next two weeks will probably be fairly uneventful here at My Savvy Boys. 

personally, this has been a very fun week filled with lots of lovely Baker West and OTL students, past and present.  
a surprise visit from Joe Barone on Friday after a visit to rehearsal with Kayla Cardenas.
Natalie and Liz this weekend. 
making plans for a photography lesson followed by more fun with Priscilla Ertel.
Kelsey Tschanen today.
and yes, Mike DeSantis, you tomorrow. :)
what i'm saying is, my heart is full.
thanks and much love to each of you. 
especially Erich. 
who is perpetually behind on his savvy reading. 
but, Arlene will let you know. ;)

for those of you about to gag...

love and nostalgia aside, anth quizzed me today on my favorite animals. 
i've never been able to answer this question. 
i like owls and doves and dogs and raccoons and tigers and...
he informed me that raccoons were "an odd choice." 

and then he handed this over a little while later. 

this makes it official. 
i like owls best. 

March 14, 2011

my little multi-tasker

sometimes at bedtime, anth and i read books.
sometimes i read.
sometimes he reads.

but, sometimes, we choose just to "chat a bit."
this generally involves hanging out on our bellies, or lying on our backs and staring at the ceiling.
these chats include things that happened at school, or what we want for our birthday, or why boys grow adam's apples, etc.

the other day we were there on our backs, chatting about the merits of BeyBlade v Ninjago toys for anth's birthday, and i noticed that his speech was slowing a bit.
i glanced over and saw that he was talking with his eyes closed.
so, silly me, i asked him if he was too tired to chat and if he was ready to go to sleep.

"mom. i can close my eyes and  talk at the same time. i mean, you're the one who keeps saying i'm pretty talented."

i'm fairly certain this wasn't the skill set i was identifying, but two points for self-confidence.

March 11, 2011

fail photo 24: pretty much...

in order to give anth a chance to process his day while working on his writing skills, bern and i ask that he takes a moment each night to jot down a sentence about his day.
he has thrown in the bonus of drawing a representation of his sentence as well, which is something he does in his kindergarten classroom.

this particular entry is a brief, but true, story....

1. why did this happen, you ask?
2. because anth withheld the couch pillows that benny so desired.
3. yes, anth was on the floor and ben on the couch when this happened.
4. yes, that is a depiction of his eye on the right.
5. yes, it actually did have a large red mark for a few days.
6. yes, anth found the need to draw a second one to better represent the size of the red mark.
7. and, yes, benny's behavior was duly addressed.

bern and i tell ourselves that anth's nightly journal will be a lovely keepsake one day.
entries such as this make me question that assumption...

March 10, 2011

creepers v. blog readers & major milestones

recently, bern and i have both had a handful of folks tell us they like reading My Savvy Boys.
but, that they feel somehow creepy or invasive by doing so.

just to clarify...
i am writing all of this on the internet.
which bern reminds me is a public setting when i send him some of my more questionable posts for screening.
plus, i'm big into journaling. 
(yes, nerdy. but are you really surprised?).
so if i wanted it private, i'd write it there.

and i really do believe that all kids are pretty darn funny if you keep the eyes and ears open.
and that a good laugh at the end of the day is always a bonus.
i just happen to write it down to share with y'all.

a blog without readers is just kind of sad.
and doogie howser-ish.
so, please.
don't feel creepy.

unless you are, in fact, creepy.
if that is the case, then please...
don't read.

now...on to things that are not at all creepy.
actually, this one, for our little fam, is just about the best thing ever. 
today is bern's last day of class.
as of 9:48pm tonight, he will be done with his MBA!
as a visual aid as to where we were 2.25 years ago when this started, here is what the boys looked like the week daddy started this journey...

the house still had the heinous carpet... 
benny clearly hated the carpet.
or daddy being in school. 
or the snowsuit i made him wear.

but he found a happy distraction in dabbling in dentistry on anth. 
(ben obviously hadn't even had his first haircut yet!)

and, flash forward to...

the two littlest savaresi, very excited about daddy being done today!

congrats, sweet boy!!!

March 9, 2011

fair warning

benjamin is, for the most part, officially potty trained now.


but, there is still the occasional accident.
he had one of those recently when we waited just a little too long.

now, benny also has a certain relationship with his underwear.
i believe it is because they are all cartoon character themed.
diego, iron man, mickey mouse, etc.
it is a very important point of conversation each morning as we deliberately choose which pair gets to spend a day outside of the underwear drawer.
but, i didn't realize how deep this connection with said underwear ran until he held up his pair of "Diegos" to warn him that he had accidentally pooped on Iron Man recently.

it was really kind of him... in it's own unique way...

March 8, 2011


preface: anth has a Nintendo DS that he received for Christmas.
bern and i have agreed to limit his use of this piece of equipment.
typically, it is not used on school nights, but can make an appearance, based on behavior, on weekends.
anth refers to weekends as "stay home" or "stay at home" days.

anth and i share the guilty pleasure of american idol.
i tell myself that this is okay because:
1. i DVR it and we watch it at a reasonable hour the next day, and
2. i chalk it up to exposing him to the performing arts.

just go with me on this one.

back while were were watching the city-based auditions, the little we're-about-to-go-to-a-commercial-voice-over-guy came on and said something to the effect of "there were bound to be some good auditions in Los Angeles."

anth paused the TV and asked me what "bound to" meant.
i explained it to him.
and we talked a little bit about things like "binding agreements," and the commitment to certain things definitely happening.

as usual, anth seemingly went back to what he was doing, and restarted the show.
a few minutes later, he paused it again.
"well, mom, then you should know i'm bound to play my DS a lot on my stay-home days this week."

March 7, 2011

Party of Four

i realize that there have been several days of kind-hearted, rainbows and cupcake posts regarding benny's birthday. 
and a heavy dose of photos. 
but, here is one last day of that for the fam on the west coast, and then it's back to the usual mockery and jest. 

Grandma and Grandpa Welch and Great Grandpa and Grandpa Savarese will be coming out the weekend after next from California and Eastern Ohio, respectively. 
we will be filling a weekend with celebrations for our little guys' birthdays and bern's graduation.
(graduation!!! the light at the end of the tunnel is burning my cornea!) 
so, ben's big day was an all day celebration for just our little family unit. 
here is the pictorial review of our little Party of Four yesterday. 

we started the day with daddy's famous pancakes...with the requisite candle.
clearly, an exciting start.

then we moved on to a little balloon party.
a balloon party, you ask?
this involved bern blowing up lots of balloons while the boys both attempted to blow up one, and an extended game of keep-it-in-the-air.
and benny discovered how to pop balloons. 
this gave mom several small heart attacks. 
which, of course, made it all the more funny to benjamin.

anth was wiped out by the festival of balloons.
he took a minute to plunk down on the floor for a breather.
yes, in this exact pose. 

he also took a moment to remind us that he has NOT, in fact, had a birthday.
or presents. 
or cake.
as a result, he is still 5.

daddy caught a rare moment of mom on the other side of the camera with ben.

and anth.
and my glasses.

a little brotherly love. :) 

i adore the look of consternation on ben's face regarding the original size of the flame on his cake candle.
no worries, it finally achieved a healthy state.

benny chose to have a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.
it seems to have been a hit.

bern asked the boys to cover their eyes while he brought the presents into the room.
not quite sure why anth had to as he was not getting gifts. 
that was probably just the law-abiding-citizen in him.
(but check out his pursed lips. he seems to be concentrating really hard on this effort.)

check out the look of surprise on bern's face when he noticed them peeking.

ben was sure to remove every piece of paper and tape from each gift.
each of them.
some might say...painstakingly.

and, of course, it was then time to give the new toys a test drive!
anth was more than pleased that ben is finally old enough to get "cool gifts."
and, in the general spirit of the day, ben was actually willing to share. 

March 6, 2011

ben's not 2 anymore!!!

it's official!
benny is 3!

little kids' birthdays will always remind me of the day that my friend Lynn and i came home to find my sister standing in the door of our garage, waiting to proudly proclaim, "i'm not 6 anymore!"
birthdays are a big deal.
especially when they still fit within your allotment of digits that you can hold up to represent your age.

ben has been talking about his birthday all week.
he stopped on the way in to daycare this week to greet Janice at the front of the center.
he coyly shared, "i have a big day tomin' up!"
and he has been sharing with anyone else who will listen.

as his mom, i find birthdays to be a fun time to pour through old photos and look back on the last few years.

here is a year-by-year snapshot of benny's birthdays...

proud big brother anth on benny's literal birth day.

benny as a one-day-old. 

this was benny's birth announcement photo.
(tee provided by danielle barone & phil badaszewski!)
i love it and i'm shamelessly repeating it.

and then there was his first birthday...

in my office, we all serve on a variety of committees.
right now i serve on the RA Recruitment team, but back then i was serving on the team that worked to recruit our full-time Hall Director staff.
we do this by traveling to a national conference where tons of schools and oodles of graduate students meet in one location for mass interviews.
(good luck to those who are finishing OPEing and to those headed to TPE soon!)
that year, TPE, or The Placement Exchange happened to be at the same time as ben's first birthday.
major mommy fail.

but, in classic ignatoski-style, my friend kelly covered our hotel room in photos of benny and cards from our fabulous committee and other special folks. 
(anth's classroom was doing the Flat Stanley project at the time, so "Flat Anthony" was there with us in Seattle to celebrate benny's birthday with mommy.)

(note: as evidenced by the reflection in the TV, neither of us opted to make our beds in an effort to celebrate his big day...)

meanwhile, bern was at home with the boys making some birthday magic happen as our sweet little 1-year-old was working on growing some teeth.
mommy came home and joined for the proper party and fanfare a few days later. 

flash forward a year and here is the photo that i took with the boys on ben's "last day of 1."
(i clearly get sentimental about the 364th day...)
why not a photo from his birthday?
because i went through all of them and they include either the top of his head, his rump, or a small blur that i suppose is ben in front of some presents.

while he seems to keep getting bigger by the minute, it makes my heart happy to know that a his idea of a good "Last Day of 2" Day still entails watching a little Winnie the Pooh in his underwear and "spidey" hat. 

  and while were were feeling pretty good about our days as a 2-year-old...
i think it's safe to say that the kid is more than excited about his journey into the big-wide-world of 3.